The House of Dreams (Boudika Comics)

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Rating:  4.5/5 – Excellent anthology piece mixing humor, drama
http://www.boudikacomics.com/

When I find myself at a comic book convention, I always make sure to stroll the artist alley/small press section and take a flyer on a couple of books.  I recommend it.  Obviously it is not always going to be something that resonates with you but that is a chance when you try anything new.  At the most recent Comic Con International: San Diego, I was a little remiss in not buying as much as normal due to an overwhelming stack of unread comics but had to grab something before leaving and I am glad I chose as I did.  I am unaware of the previous work of this company or the artists involved.  Often times, independent work contains idiosyncrasies that can be a barrier to entry for some comic readers.  In this example, the artwork, subject matter and storytelling would be at home in any “mainstream” publication.  This is not to say that it will be to everyone’s taste, but I think you will find no fault with the craft.

Split into two parts, there are a variety of smaller stories in this black and white volume.  Ordering information is on the website and please note that the dimensions are more digest sized.  While it is not a cheap book, it is worth the price. I debate with how much information to give on the short stories without spoiling them so I will just blatantly cheat and steal from their website:

“The first tandem book by boudika comics. Contains two chapters in one book.
La Maison Bleue by Claudia Aguirre: Telling the adventures and misadventures of 5 tenants of the Blue House, where fantastic beings dwell and no one is ever alone. Their problems and adventures intermingle in diverse ways. From heroic dogs and monster-hunting children, to jobless depressive god-men, their lives change when they meet each other.
Sweet Despair by Eva Cabrera: Presenting 3 short stories with two elements very characteristic of the author: Drama and terror. Toads, Social network addiction and an angel who hopes for pain and despair.”

The stories are more character pieces than your twist ending, twilight zone style.  There are a few of those but even then they usually provide enough characterization to keep you invested regardless of the predictability of the ending.  There is no explicit content but some violence and romance related issues.  I would say the book tends more toward the drama than the terror (with some humor mixed in for measure).  In a further expression of my ignorance, I am going to say the artwork has some manga influence but not excessively so.  I would imagine both these creators have a few previous works under their respective belts because the storytelling here is really solid.  Working in the digest size, both also maintain an excellent balance between action and providing detailed expression.  I have flipped through it a few times delighting in the images.  Artwork samples on the website but remember the book is in black and white.  Some of the stories teeter on the melodramatic but I am more than pleased with the overall result.

If you have a chance to stumble upon them at a convention please check them out.  For those of you that are more adventurous go ahead and order a copy for yourself.  At the convention, they provided me a copy of the Daymares Preview which moves more to the horror/terror side.  I will be checking it out.

Reviewed by: Andrew Sanford – andrew@comicspectrum.com
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